Posted by: jt | May 2, 2010

they eat their young – without question – they eat their young

I was trying to get something posted about my Northern Indian rock star, because I am totally going to India – like the northern part that is practically China – and I would rather that not come out of left field for the twelve of you who still read here, despite a complete dearth of posting.

Who are you people?

Alas, that post is stuck mid-completion and might just be relegated to my “Ramblings” file. Maybe I should start posting WIPs and you can all pester me to keep writing, since I know you’ll all be shivering with antici…pation.

Since I’m trying to post here somewhat regularly again, you are stuck, my darlings, with rants and ramblings on Minnesota politics. Because y’all, this I can finish!

I was nodding my way through this analysis of the Republican candidate for governor in Minnesota this fall – none other than Mr. Tom I don’t think you can call yourself a freedom-loving American and be a Democrat Emmer. You stay classy, Tom Emmer. I bet you’ll get tons accomplished with the Democratic legislature with that kind of perspective.

I was Little Ms. Agreement throughout the piece until I got to that last paragraph and wished, so desperately wished, I could argue. Unfortunately, there is nothing I agree with more.

“[His defeated Republican opponent] would be upset if we didn’t support Emmer so that’s what we will do. Tomorrow we will wake up, and tomorrow we will be Tom Emmer supporters,” delegate Margaret Flowers of Hastings said Friday. “We are not the DFL.”

I wanted to defend the DFL (Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party – a.k.a. Dems in Minnesota) and say that we aren’t sheep! We’re not just blind supporters! We don’t just follow whomever we’re told without critique.

While I think all of that’s true, it also has nothing to do with the issue at hand.

Last month, the Minnesota DFL endorsed Margaret Anderson Kelliher as their (our!) candidate for governor. It’s exciting. MAK is a great candidate – she’s a true progressive, has successfully brought people together in the legislature to actually move things forward (despite the kind of bipartisanship demonstrated by the Republicans’ choice for “leadership”), and she has that urban/rural cross-cultural experience that’s key for getting elected in Minnesota.

But she still has to defeat two other Dems before she even gets to the Republican.

The Dems do this every freakin’ time in Minnesota and it’s a huge part of why the state that has the longest record of electing Democratic presidents* hasn’t managed to get a DFLer in the governor’s mansion since 1986.

Seriously? There were still two Germanys in 1986. Come. The fuck. On.

Inevitably, in statewide races, the DFL endorses a candidate, and a couple of well-known Democrats say, Oh, that’s nice. But I still wanna run. Me! It’s about me! I’m gonna take this to the primary!

If this tactic of prolonging the internal Democratic debate and subverting the established democratic process was actually good for small-d-democracy and produced a stronger party and stronger candidate, I could potentially accept it.

It doesn’t.

As is evidenced by the DFL last winning the governor’s race the same year that the Challenger blew up.

Stop eating your young.

Also inevitably, the people who insist on running – even though the party they align with has chosen someone else – are rich, white and privileged.

Get over your sense of entitlement.

If you are the best candidate for the job, prove it. Prove it to your party. Get our backing. Get our endorsement. Play by the rules.

RT Rybak, god bless him, ran his heart out. And lost. And threw his support, with no bitterness or conditions, to the woman who won.

Tom Rukavina, gotta love him, ran with the passion we love about the Range. And lost. And threw his support, with no bitterness or conditions, to the woman who won.

These white dudes? They get it. Which is to say, I have nothing against white dudes.

I do, however, have tremendous resentment for anyone who thinks they’re entitled to subverting the democratic process because they can.

Mark Dayton, you’ve done a lot of good for Minnesota. Thank you. But if you wanted to run for governor, you should have run for governor.

Matt Entenza, I love you and it still kills me a little that you had to drop out of the attorney general race four years ago. But if you wanted to run for governor, you should have run for governor.

If either of you really care about Minnesota, you’ll throw your vast financial resources and political clout behind the person that Minnesota DFLers have chosen to be their candidate. You will let her run against the Republicans, instead of against her own party. You will give her – and by extension all of the State of Minnesota – the tools needed to succeed this November. You will put the good of Minnesota ahead of your own interests and egos.

You will stop eating your young.

Or we’ll play this out. Again. She’ll beat you in the August primary. And in doing so, she’ll have fewer resources to use in the general election. And if we lose, like we have for 20 years now, you will have to live with the knowledge that it is, in no small part, your fault. Or, you know, you could just get over yourselves.

And stop.


* Follow our lead, people. We know best. Nationally, anyway.


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